On 17 May, the Swaziland Agricultural, Plantation and Allied Workers Union (SAPAWU) signed an agreement with Ubombo Sugar Ltd., an Illovo Sugar subsidiary covering some 1,800 workers. The agreement is effective from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014.
Main issues in the agreement are:
- Salaries: a 9.5 percent increase across the board, while inflation rate for 2012 was estimated at 8.4 percent
- Education allowance: SZL 2,120.00 per family
- Cane carrying: SZL 18.00 per day
- 25 years award: SZL 2,500.00
- Shift allowance remains at 6 percent
It was also agreed that the Safety Committee will review proposals related to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) issues and will ensure they will be completed by 30 June. As well, all employees leaving employment, including seasonal workers, shall have a medical examination; and a tool allowance, not part of the Collective Agreement, is set at SZL 1,250.00 for qualified artisans and SZL 750.00 for non-qualified artisans. (The Swazi lilangeni SZL, plural: emalangeni, is exchanged at par to the South African rand (ZAR). ZAR/SZL 9.3477 = USD 1.00)
An updated and complete version of all terms and conditions of employment shall be compiled and signed by 30 June 2013. The main reason is that, over time, several Memorandums of Agreements (MoA) have been negotiated but the improved conditions have not yet been compiled in only one Collective Agreement.
Ubombo Sugar’s production in 2011-2012 was 224,000 tonnes after an expansion program that aims at reaching 300,000 tonnes in the next two years. Ubombo also cogenerated some 33 Gwh of electricity exported to the national grid. Illovo Sugar holds a 60 percent stake, with the remaining 40 percent controlled by the royal Tibiyo Taka Ngwane Trust.